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ABC's metal roofing experts give their advice on the best installation tools.
Below is a list of necessary tools you will want to use in a typical metal roofing installation. We use some common tools that you may recognize, as well as some not so common tools that are very helpful during the installation process.
A 24” square is often used when preparing panels for the valley. We also have a 12” square, which we use for leveling and doing plumb cuts and bends along the ridge line and other places.
Next we have a rivet gun which is used in tandem with the 1/8” drill bits. This is used a lot on ridge lines, hips, trim alongside walls, and end walls.
The panel hemming tool is very important in the installation process. ABC makes this hemming tool for use at the top and bottom of the panel. This is how we hem the panel to fit into the offset cleat. We can also use it when we do a bread pan fold at the top.
A duck bill snip makes for a clean, long cut when cutting through the flat of the pan. These two snips, especially the red handled pair, are what you're going to use the most throughout the installation of your metal roof. They make for a serrated cut. They can also make very tight cuts as you cut around plumbing vents and other roof openings. The most common cut you're going to make is usually one-inch-deep, especially when you're preparing the ends of panels.
Next is a seaming or a bending tool. This is used to prepare the eave trim and bed around corners. Any time you're bending up to an inch, it's marked every half an inch. This is probably another one of the most common tools that you're going to use throughout the installation.
These tools are obvious: measuring tape, Sharpies, pencils, and a blade. You're going to be doing a lot of marking, a lot of scoring of the metal, and we recommend having a folding, locking knife in your belt at all times. To save you a lot of time and energy, you will also want to mark your blade. I make a mark with a Sharpie at one inch, making sure that it's on both sides of my blade. This way, rather than reaching for my tape measure every time I want to make a cut, I simply cut to that line.
I highly recommend using the Malco Turbo shear during the installation process, as it’s easy to use and allows you to quickly cut along a panel. It easily snaps on to the end of a cordless drill, and within two seconds you have a metal shear that makes beautiful, clean cuts.
Our final tool is a straight edge. We make a lot of long markings on the panels, especially in the valley, so you're going to want a straight edge on site to make sure everything is accurate. We often see people use a piece of wood, but because it’s not as square and straight, we highly recommend having a proper metal straight edge of approximately five to six feet.
Be sure to cover your eyes and always use a pair of safety goggles, sunglasses, glasses during installation. It is also important to protect your hands from metal and avoid any injuries or cuts.
Contact one of our installation experts for tips on how to install your ABC metal roofing panels.